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An award-winning Haitian novel about silence, beauty, and the solidarity of tears.

Airports are distillations of the world. I like thinking of them that way. The hope of leaving and the desire to come home, existing side by side. Any voyage is possible. My mind flies off toward the blue province once again. I don’t know, anymore, why I always associate it with blue. It isn’t even my favorite color.

Traveling alone from Miami to Port-au-Prince, our narrator finds comfort at the airport. She feels free to ponder the silence that surrounds her homeland, her mother, her aunts, and her own inner thoughts. Between two places, she sees how living in poverty keeps women silent, forging their identities around practicality and resilience. From a distance, she is drawn inevitably homeward toward her family and the glittering blue Caribbean Sea.

Blue comes alive through vivid images crowding the page, just as memories do in real life, as if the author is trying to sort through them, to come to grips with her own emotional conflict. Balancing the pain and anger are spiritual bonds that connect the author to the women who have come before her, who have created her, and with Haiti itself, her motherland. No amount of glittering opportunity up north can prevent her from finding her way home.

Jocelyn Nicole Johnson is the author of the debut story collection My Monticello, available from Henry Holt & Co.

 

Johnson’s writing has appeared in GuernicaThe Guardian, Phoebe, Prime Number Magazine, and elsewhere. Her short story “Control Negro” was anthologized in Best American Short Stories 2018, guest edited by Roxane Gay, and read live by LeVar Burton as part of PRI’s Selected Shorts series. Johnson has been a fellow at Hedgebrook, Tin House Summer Workshops, and VCCA. A veteran public school art teacher, she lives and writes in Charlottesville, Virginia.

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Otherppl with Brad Listi is a weekly literary podcast featuring in-depth interviews with today’s leading writers.

Launched in 2011. Books. Literature. Writing. Publishing. Authors. Screenwriters. Etc.

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Sarah Hall is the author of the novel Burntcoat, available from Custom House. It is the official November pick of The Nervous Breakdown Book Club.

 

Hall was born in Cumbria. She is the prizewinning author of six novels and three short story collections. She is a recipient of the American Academy of Arts and Letters E. M. Forster Award, the Edge Hill Short Story Prize, among others, and the only person ever to win the BBC National Short Story Award twice.

***

Otherppl with Brad Listi is a weekly literary podcast featuring in-depth interviews with today’s leading writers.

Launched in 2011. Books. Literature. Writing. Publishing. Authors. Screenwriters. Etc.

Support the show on Patreon

Merch

@otherppl

Instagram

YouTube

Email the show: letters [at] otherppl [dot] com

The podcast is a proud affiliate partner of Bookshop, working to support local, independent bookstores.

Dennis Cooper is the author of the novel I Wishedavailable from Soho Press.

 

 

Cooper is the author of the George Miles Cycle, an interconnected sequence of five novels: CloserFriskTryGuide, and Period. His other works include My Loose ThreadThe Sluts, winner of France’s Prix Sade and the Lambda Literary Award; God Jr.; WrongThe Dream PoliceUgly Man; and The Marbled Swarm. He divides his time between Los Angeles and Paris. He is the director (with Zac Farley) of Permanent Green Lightand Like Cattle Towards Glow.

***

Otherppl with Brad Listi is a weekly literary podcast featuring in-depth interviews with today’s leading writers.

Launched in 2011. Books. Literature. Writing. Publishing. Authors. Screenwriters. Etc.

Support the show on Patreon

Merch

@otherppl

Instagram

YouTube

Email the show: letters [at] otherppl [dot] com

The podcast is a proud affiliate partner of Bookshop, working to support local, independent bookstores.

Larissa Pham is the author of the memoir-in-essays Pop Song, available from Catapult.

 

Pham is an artist and writer in Brooklyn. Born in Portland, Oregon, she studied painting and art history at Yale University. She has written essays and criticism for the Paris Review DailyThe NationArt in AmericaGuernica, and elsewhere. She was an inaugural Yi Dae Up fellowship recipient from the Jack Jones Literary Arts Retreat. She is also the author of Fantasian, a novella.

***

Otherppl with Brad Listi is a weekly literary podcast featuring in-depth interviews with today’s leading writers.

Launched in 2011. Books. Literature. Writing. Publishing. Authors. Screenwriters. Etc.

Support the show on Patreon

Merch

@otherppl

Instagram

YouTube

Email the show: letters [at] otherppl [dot] com

The podcast is a proud affiliate partner of Bookshop, working to support local, independent bookstores.

Mike DeCapite is the author of the novel Jacket Weather, available from Soft Skull Press.

 

DeCapite’s other books include the novel Through the Windshield, the chapbook Creamsicle Blue, and the short-prose collection Radiant Fog, published under the banner of Sparkle Street Books. Cuz Editions published his story “Sitting Pretty,” later anthologized in The Italian American Reader.

DeCapite grew up in Cleveland and has lived in London and San Francisco, but has spent most of his time in New York City, where he now resides.

***

Otherppl with Brad Listi is a weekly literary podcast featuring in-depth interviews with today’s leading writers.

Launched in 2011. Books. Literature. Writing. Publishing. Authors. Screenwriters. Etc.

Support the show on Patreon

Merch

@otherppl

Instagram

YouTube

Email the show: letters [at] otherppl [dot] com

The podcast is a proud affiliate partner of Bookshop, working to support local, independent bookstores.

Louise Erdrich is the author of the novel The Sentence, available from Harper.

 
One of America’s most celebrated authors, Erdrich was awarded the 2021 Pulitzer Prize for her novel The Night WatchmanIn 2012, she won the National Book Award for her novel The Round Houseand twice she has been awarded the National Book Critics Circle Award, first for her debut novel Love Medicine in 1984, and again for her novel LaRose in 2016.

Erdrich is a member of the Turtle Mountain Band of Chippewa. She is the author of many novels as well as volumes of poetry, children’s books, and a memoir of early motherhood. She lives in Minnesota with her daughters and is the owner of Birchbark Books, a small independent bookstore. A ghost lives in her creaky old house.

***

Otherppl with Brad Listi is a weekly literary podcast featuring in-depth interviews with today’s leading writers.

Launched in 2011. Books. Literature. Writing. Publishing. Authors. Screenwriters. Etc.

Support the show on Patreon

Merch

www.otherppl.com

@otherppl

Instagram

YouTube

Email the show: letters [at] otherppl [dot] com

The podcast is a proud affiliate partner of Bookshop, working to support local, independent bookstores.

Marlowe Granados is the author of the debut novel Happy Hour, available from Verso Books.

 

Granados is a writer and filmmaker living in Toronto. She co-hosts The Mean Reds, a podcast dedicated to women-led films. And her advice column, “Designs for Living,” appears in The Baffler.

***

Otherppl with Brad Listi is a weekly literary podcast featuring in-depth interviews with today’s leading writers.

Launched in 2011. Books. Literature. Writing. Publishing. Authors. Screenwriters. Etc.

Support the show on Patreon

Merch

@otherppl

Instagram

YouTube

Email the show: letters [at] otherppl [dot] com

The podcast is a proud affiliate partner of Bookshop, working to support local, independent bookstores.

Matthew Clark Davison is the author of the debut novel Doubting Thomas, available from Amble Press.

 

Davison is a writer and educator living in San Francisco. He earned a BA and MFA in Creative Writing from San Francisco State University, where he now teaches full-time. His prose has been recently anthologized in Empty The Pews and 580-Split, and published in GuernicaThe Atlantic Monthly, Foglifter, Lumina Magazine, Fourteen Hills, Per Contra, Educe, and others; and has been recognized with a Creative Work Grant, (Inaugural Awardee/San Francisco State University), Cultural Equities Grant (San Francisco Arts Commission), the Clark Gross Award for a Novel-in-Progress, and a Stonewall Alumni Award.

***

Otherppl with Brad Listi is a weekly literary podcast featuring in-depth interviews with today’s leading writers.

Launched in 2011. Books. Literature. Writing. Publishing. Authors. Screenwriters. Etc.

Support the show on Patreon

Merch

@otherppl

Instagram

YouTube

Email the show: letters [at] otherppl [dot] com

The podcast is a proud affiliate partner of Bookshop, working to support local, independent bookstores.

Available from The Feminist Press

Sign up now to receive your copy! (Sign-up deadline for this title: November 15, 2021.)

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“Queer dynamite.” —Kristin Arnett, author of Mostly Dead Things

Meet Margaret. At age twelve, she was head detective of the mystery club Girls Can Solve Anything. Margaret and her three best friends led exciting lives solving crimes, having adventures, and laughing a lot. But now that she’s entered high school, the club has disbanded, and Margaret is unmoored—she doesn’t want to grow up, and she wishes her friends wouldn’t either. Instead, she opts out, developing an eating disorder that quickly takes over her life. When she lands in a treatment center, Margaret finds her path to recovery twisting sideways as she pursues a string of new mysteries involving a ghost, a hidden passage, disturbing desires, and her own vexed relationship with herself.

Margaret and the Mystery of the Missing Body reimagines nineties adolescence—mashing up girl group series, choose-your-own-adventures, and chronicles of anorexia—in a queer and trans coming-of-age tale like no other. An interrogation of girlhood and nostalgia, dysmorphia and dysphoria, this debut novel puzzles through the weird, ever-evasive questions of growing up.

Emily Ladau is the author of Demystifying Disability: What to Know, What to Say, and How to Be an Ally, available from Ten Speed Press.

 

Ladau is an internationally known disability rights activist, writer, and speaker. She is the editor in chief of the Rooted in Rights blog, a platform dedicated to amplifying authentic narratives of the intersectional disability experience. She also co-hosts The Accessible Stall, a podcast about disability issues.

Ladau’s writing has been published in outlets including the New York Times, HuffPost, CNN, Self, Salon, Vice, The Daily Beast, Variety, and Marie Claire Australia. Her work is also included in the Criptiques Anthology and About Us: Essays from the Disability Series of the New York Times. She has served as an expert source on disability issues for outlets including NPR, Vox, Washington Post, and Teen Vogue, and has been featured in a range of press outlets including Newsday, BuzzFeed, CBS News, and U.S. News & World Report.

A transcript of this interview is available here.

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Show notes:

The Microsoft videos that Emily references during the interview can be found here.

Other useful resources:

Ableist words and terms to avoid.

2021 working definition of ableism.

***

Otherppl with Brad Listi is a weekly literary podcast featuring in-depth interviews with today’s leading writers.

Launched in 2011. Books. Literature. Writing. Publishing. Authors. Screenwriters. Etc.

Support the show on Patreon

Merch

@otherppl

Instagram

YouTube

Email the show: letters [at] otherppl [dot] com

The podcast is a proud affiliate partner of Bookshop, working to support local, independent bookstores.

Lucy Corin is the author of The Swank Hotel, available from Graywolf Press. It is the official October pick of The Nervous Breakdown Book Club.

 

Corin’s other books include the story collections One Hundred Apocalypses and Other Apocalypses and The Entire Predicament, and the novel Everyday Psychokillers: A History for Girls. Her work has appeared in American Short Fiction, Conjunctions, Harper’s Magazine, Ploughshares, Bomb, Tin House Magazine, and the New American Stories anthology from Vintage Contemporaries. She is the recipient of an American Academy of Arts and Letters Rome Prize and a literature fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts. She teaches at the University of California at Davis and lives in Berkeley.

***

Otherppl with Brad Listi is a weekly literary podcast featuring in-depth interviews with today’s leading writers.

Launched in 2011. Books. Literature. Writing. Publishing. Authors. Screenwriters. Etc.

Support the show on Patreon

Merch

@otherppl

Instagram

YouTube

Email the show: letters [at] otherppl [dot] com

The podcast is a proud affiliate partner of Bookshop, working to support local, independent bookstores.

Kate Durbin is the author of the poetry collection Hoardersavailable now from Wave Books.

 

Durbin is a Los Angeles-based artist and author of four books of poetry. Her art and writing have been featured in The New York Times, The Atlantic, Art Forum, Art in America, The Believer, BOMB, and elsewhere. She is the winner of the international 2017 Turn on Literature Prize for Electronic Literature for her poetry app, Abra.

***

Otherppl with Brad Listi is a weekly literary podcast featuring in-depth interviews with today’s leading writers.

Launched in 2011. Books. Literature. Writing. Publishing. Authors. Screenwriters. Etc.

Support the show on Patreon

Merch

@otherppl

Instagram

YouTube

Email the show: letters [at] otherppl [dot] com

The podcast is a proud affiliate partner of Bookshop, working to support local, independent bookstores.

Catherine Raven is the author of the memoir Fox & I: An Uncommon Friendshipavailable from Spiegel and Grau.

 

Raven received her Ph.D. in biology from Montana State University and is a former National Park Ranger at Glacier, Mount Rainier, North Cascades, Voyageurs, and Yellowstone National Parks. Her natural history essays have appeared in American Scientist, Journal of American Mensa, and Montana Magazine. She is currently an Assistant Program Director and Professor at South University in Savannah, Georgia.

***

Otherppl with Brad Listi is a weekly literary podcast featuring in-depth interviews with today’s leading writers.

Launched in 2011. Books. Literature. Writing. Publishing. Authors. Screenwriters. Etc.

Support the show on Patreon

Merch

@otherppl

Instagram

YouTube

Email the show: letters [at] otherppl [dot] com

The podcast is a proud affiliate partner of Bookshop, working to support local, independent bookstores.

Alexandra Kleeman is the author of the novel Something New Under the Sun, available from Hogarth Books.

 

Kleeman’s other books include Intimations, a short story collection, and the novel You Too Can Have A Body Like Mine, which was awarded the 2016 Bard Fiction Prize and was a New York Times Editor’s Choice. In 2020, she was awarded the Rome Prize and the Berlin Prize.

Her fiction has been published in The New Yorker, The Paris Review, Zoetrope, Conjunctions, and Guernica, among others, and other writing has appeared in Harper’s, The New York Times Magazine, VOGUE, Tin House, n+1, and The Guardian. Her work has received fellowships and support from Bread Loaf, Djerassi, the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts, and the Headlands Center for the Arts.

Born in 1986 in Berkeley, California, she was raised in Colorado and lives in Staten Island with her husband, the writer Alex Gilvarry.

***

Otherppl with Brad Listi is a weekly literary podcast featuring in-depth interviews with today’s leading writers.

Launched in 2011. Books. Literature. Writing. Publishing. Authors. Screenwriters. Etc.

Support the show on Patreon

Merch

@otherppl

Instagram

YouTube

Email the show: letters [at] otherppl [dot] com

The podcast is a proud affiliate partner of Bookshop, working to support local, independent bookstores.